Westover Parish, Virginia
Merchant's Hope Church belonged to Westover Parish from the late 1600s through 1720.
- by 1625
Two acts, culled from Colonial Office at the National Archives in London, provide information about Westover Parish:
- "An Act for enlarging Charles City County; and for consolidating those parts of the Parishes of Westover and Weynoake, on the North side James River; and that part of Wallingford Parish, on the West side Chicohominy River" (1720)
- "An Act to divide those parts of the Parishes of Westover and Weynoake, which lie on the South side James River, from those parts of the said Parishes which lie on the North side the said River; and for uniting Westover and Weynoake Parishes; on the South side James River, to Martin Brandon Parish, in the County of Prince George; and for erecting a Chapel in Bristol Parish, in the said County" (1720)
- Chamberlayne, Churchill G. "Seven Parish Acts Heretofore Unpublished," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Jan. 1938):106-118. FHL Book 973 H25w; digital version at JSTOR ($).
More than 250 graves from this parish church's cemetery are described at Find A Grave.
A professional reading of some prominent Westover Parish graves was published back in 1896:
- Tyler, Lyon G. "Old Tombstones in Charles City County," The William and Mary Quarterly, 1st Ser., Vol. 4, No. 2 (Oct. 1985):122-125; Vol. 4, No. 3 (Jan. 1896):143-150. Digital versions at JSTOR ($); USGenWeb Archives (partial). Also republished in Virginia Vital Records (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1984). Digital version at Ancestry ($).
Saunders published another history of the parish in 1937:
- Saunders, Kirkland Ruffin. Westover Church and Its Environs. Richmond, Va.: W.M. Brown & Sons, 1937. FHL Film 1843195.
- Robbins, Gus. Merchants Hope Church: Erected in 1657, Oldest Protestant Church Still Standing in America and Used As a House of Worship: Prince George County, Virginia. 1970s. FHL Book 975.5 A1 no. 159.
Colonial parish registers do not survive. Saunders published abstracts of baptisms, marriages, and burials from the 1830s through the 1930s, see Parish History.
- Westover Episcopal Church (official website)
- Westover Church, The Historical Marker Database
- Herring Creek & Kimages, The Historical Marker Database
- "Westover Episcopal Church -- History," accessed 5 July 2011.
- Freddie Spradlin, "Parishes of Virginia," VAGenWeb, accessed 29 January 2011; Hening's Statutes at Large; Emily J. Salmon and Edward D.C. Campbell Jr., The Hornbook of Virginia History (Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1994).
- Colonial Churches: A Series of Sketches of Churches in the Original Colony of Virginia (Richmond, Va.: Southern Churchman Co., 1907), 258-264.